Get Some Useful Marine Forecast Data Through Aviation Forecast Products!

  • I've given talks to those that primarily use the Intracoastal Waterways.  A typical need for these boaters is to know the timing of thunderstorms.  One tool is to use the Aviation Forecast. Yes, that is correct!  These forecasts are very site specific and updated more frequently than the marine forecast.  

    So if you want to know the approximate timing of storms when you are fishing near the Route 60 bridge east of Vero Beach, you could look at the Aviation forecast for Vero Beach Municipal Airport (KVRB).  

    Other coastal Aviation Forecasts are at Daytona Beach (KDAB), Melbourne (KMLB), Patrick Air Force Base (KCOF) and the Shuttle Landing Facility (KTTS), Fort Pierce (KFPR) and Stuart (KSUA).  If you fish on inland lakes you may want to check out these Aviation Forecasts for Orlando International Airport (KMCO), Kissimmee (KISM), Sanford (KSFB), and Leesburg (KLEE)

    If you need to have these coded forecasts translated:  Off our homepage along the left side, select Aviation Weather. Again on the left side of this page under Forecasts scroll over TAF/FA and select TAF Request Forms. Type KVRB into the selection box (switch to "Translated").  Or you can look at the explantion below:
    KVRB 221742Z 2218/2318 13013G18KT P6SM SCT025 BKN040 BKN120 
    TEMPO 2218/2221 27020G30KT 2SM TSRA BKN025CB
    FM230000 14010KT P6SM FEW020 SCT250
    FM231400 20006KT P6SM SCT025 BKN060=
    This is the time/date group.  The TAF was issued on the 22nd at 1742Z
    (UTC is the same as "Z time")-- subtract 4 hours to get EDT,
    subtract 5 hours to get EST. The TAF above is valid from the 22nd at 18z
    the 23rd at 18z. FM230000 is a change in the weather group starting
    at 00Z (8 PM EDT) on the 23rd.

    13013G18KT is the winds at 18Z (2 PM EDT), from 130 degrees (southeast) at 13 knots
    with gusts to 18 knots,
    14010KT is the winds at 00Z (8 PM EDT), from 140 degrees at 10 knots, and 20006KT
    is the winds at 14Z (10 AM EDT the next day),200 degrees (south) at 6 knots.

    P6SM means plus 6 statute miles visibility, and 2SM means 2 statute miles visibility.

    SCT025 means scattered clouds at 2500 feet, BKN040 means a broken cloud deck at 4000 feet, etc.
    TEMPO 2218/2221 means temporarily between 18Z and 21Z (2 and 5 PM EDT) a thunderstorm
    with winds from 270 degrees (west)at 20 knots gusting to 30 knots is expected.
  • Another tool to get wind speed and direction changes is the GFS Lamp Forecast (LAMP stands for Local Aviation MOS Product).  This is updated automatically almost every hour, but will not include wind changes that occur due to thunderstorms.

    Time is in UTC (subtract 4 hours to get EDT, subtract 5 hours to get EST).

    The Wind Direction is in the WDR row (11 means the wind is from 110 degrees).  Below it is WSP (the wind speed in knots) and WGS (wind gust).

    Changing KVRB in the address bar to any of the other airports mentioned above will give you the LAMP forecast for that site. 

    For those who prefer a graphical "meteogram" depiction of the Lamp Forecast, use
    this link.


Randy Lascody
NWS Melbourne is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.